Pro Bike Profile: Jonathan Page’s Mysterious 2013 National Championship Cyclocross Bike

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With today’s look at 2013 National Champion Jonathan Page’s (ENGVT) mystery carbon cyclocross bike, we continue our effort to bring you the winning cross bikes from the 2013 Cyclocross National Championships, with a few interesting 2012 bikes thrown into the mix. Stay tuned as we have a bunch more to come. Page’s unbranded mystery carbon ride is an interesting contrast to Elite Women’s winner Katie Compton’s aluminum Trek, as we explain below.

This year, with his win at the 2013 Cyclocross National Championships, Jonathan Page continued his impressive streak of podium finishes every time he’s entered the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships since 2001. That’s 11 straight years (he skipped the 2010 National Championships), and all but 2001′s race saw him in medal-winning positions, with four wins, two silvers, four silvers, and one fourth place. Wrap your head around that.

Remarkably, his lowest place racing in Elites was sixth place in 2000, just off the podium after a year off from the sport that left him missing the 1999 championship race in San Francisco. Little known is Page’s 1998 Nationals result, when as a U23 racer, not unlike Zach McDonald’s ride to silver this year, Page finished an impressive third in the Elite race. This was one day after rolling a tubular on the last lap of the U23 race in his attempt to win the U23 title for the third-straight year (Tim Johnson would win that year). Page also owns a junior title from 1994. Page’s consistency and success is unmatched among this generation of Elite American male cyclocross racers, and something that many new fans may not realize about this Belgium-based American racer who we only see racing in the States a few times a year.

This year, Page entered the National Championships still looking for a long-term sponsor, but with the support of long-time backers Planet Bike and Jerry Chabot (in the form of ENGVT) for his January 2013 racing. After his win, Cyclocross Magazine snapped some photos of his winning brand-less bike, but in the middle of doing so, Page’s handlers politely requested we stop as he didn’t want a lot of attention on his freshly stickered-over bike. We respectfully stopped, but thought readers would be especially interested in the build and component choices of the four-time National Champion.

Jonathan Page's signature and the SL give away the model and brand of his winning bike. © Meg McMahon

Jonathan Page’s signature and the SL give away the model and brand of his winning bike. © Meg McMahon

First, briefly about the mystery bike: A close inspection confirms it’s Page’s own signature model, the Norcross SL from his previous sponsor, Blue Competition Cycles. The company was recently sold to a private equity firm, and did not continue Page’s sponsorship (nor his signature on the SL model). The chainstay of his winning bike still shows the SL labeling and Page’s own signature, but the Blue branding was covered up with checkered tape. The frame features Aerus carbon high modulus tubing and features a relatively Euro-high bottom bracket with a 6cm drop, with a BB30 bottom bracket shell. An Aerus carbon cyclocross fork with 1-1/2″ to 1-1/8″ tapered carbon steerer and carbon dropouts is held in place with an FSA Orbit C-40 CX headset.  It’s the same frame that Page has race on before — see our gallery below for a few photos of his 2012 bike.

Of more interest to readers may be Page’s component choices, which may surprise some in that there is a notable lack of exotic components or materials — no prototypes or boutique items found on Page’s bike, and besides the Dura-Ace components and wheels, his choices are middle-of-the-line options.  Contrast that with Katie Compton’s winning aluminum Trek from the 2013 Cyclocross National Championships that featured several prototype components and the very latest top-shelf products.

His winning build kit: Shimano components wherever possible, including Dura-Ace 7900 STI levers, C35 wheels, and CX70 brakes. © Meg McMahon

His winning build kit: Shimano components wherever possible, including Dura-Ace 7900 STI levers, C35 wheels, and CX70 brakes. © Meg McMahon

Although Page has been searching for a title sponsor this season, he is sponsored by Shimano, and thus nearly every component comes from the Japanese component company, starting with the mechanical Shimano 7900 series Dura-Ace 10-speed STI shifters, rear derailleur and front derailleur, a change from his Di2 componentry he rode in 2012.  The crankset remains the same as his 2012 bike, a 7900-series standard road (130mm BCD) Dura-Ace crankset with a rare 46t Dura-Ace outer ring to match the 7900 spider, and a generic 39t inner ring.

Jonathan Page powered Shimano's top-shelf 7900 10-speed crankset, in 172.5mm length, with 46/39 chainrings. 2013 Cyclocross National Championships. © Focal Flame Photography

Jonathan Page powered Shimano’s top-shelf 7900 10-speed crankset, in 172.5mm length, with 46/39 chainrings. 2013 Cyclocross National Championships. © Focal Flame Photography

Page continues to rely on Shimano  SPD pedals as he has for his entire career, and told Cyclocross Magazine, “I’ve always used SPDs because I can trust them.” He picks the very affordable M540 pedals, often found for not much more than $50 in stores. “They’re reliable and they can take all the mud, rocks, dirt, sand, ice and snow that I find in ’cross,” said Page about his pedal choice.

Avoiding the new SPD pedals that offer more surface area and mud issues, Page relies on the tried-and-true Shimano M540 pedals, instead of chasing down pairs of discontinued M970 XTR or M770 XT pedals.

Page relies on the tried-and-true widely-available Shimano M540 pedals. © Cyclocross Magazine

The M540 pedals have less surface contact with the cycling shoe than the current M980 XTR and M780 XT models, which means less problems in mud without shoe sole modifications (See our in-depth review of the Shimano XTR M980 SPD pedal in Issue 17 in which we reveal common misconceptions about the pedal’s mud performance).  While many cyclocross racers prefer the older M970 XTR and M770 XT pedals, because they’re discontinued and becoming hard to find, Page sticks with the still-available M540 that shares a similar body to the M970 and M770 models. Perhaps the more affordable model helped keep his cleats from icing over, as Justin Lindine (See Lindine recall his cleat issues in our video interview here) and Ryan Trebon experienced, effectively ending their chance at the podium.

Besides the pedals, crankset and frameset, nearly everything else was different on his 2013 bike as compared to his 2012 machine, and the changes were to remarkably pedestrian components, shunning carbon fiber except in the wheels. Shimano replaced ENVE in supplying Page with his PRO branded cockpit, but unlike Shimano-sponsored Niels Albert and Sven Nys who opt for the carbon Vibe bits (see our profile of Albert’s Colnago Cross Prestige and Nys’ Colnago Cross Prestige cyclocross bikes), Page relied on the aluminum PRO Vibe 7s 7000-series aluminum handlebar (7050) and seatpost (7075) components, choices several notches down from the  more spend-y and lighter carbon options. For his stem, Page opted for the PRO PLT aluminum stem. Gone is Page’s Fizik Gobi from last year, and in its place is a Page perched upon a PRO Condor saddle with titanium rails. No carbon rails for Page.

In 2012, Page only brought three bikes but only one set of wheels to contest the 2012 Cyclocross National Championships. He brought an ENVE Composites tubular set with FMB Super Mud tubulars, but relied on Bob Downs’ personal supply of 25mm ENVE carbon tubular wheels to outfit his other bikes (see a photo of his 2012 bike below). This year, he raced Shimano’s 1339g Dura-Ace C35 carbon tubular wheels, dressed with Limus Team Edition 33mm tubular tires from his tire sponsor, Challenge. The pale sidewall of the tires reveals his winning tires were the new cotton casing Team Edition Challenge tubular tires that we first saw on Brady Kappius’ Stevens Super Prestige bike in Vegas.

Page stopped his Dura-Ace C35 carbon tubulars and Challenge Limus Team Edition tubulars with Shimano's CX-70 cantilever cyclocross brakes. © Meg McMahon

Page stopped his Dura-Ace C35 carbon tubulars and Challenge Limus Team Edition tubulars with Shimano’s CX-70 cantilever cyclocross brakes. © Meg McMahon

Continuing the Shimano trend was Page’s brake choice of the low-profile alloy Shimano CX70 cyclocross cantilever brakes we reviewed positively in Issue 16. Page continued to use his favorite no-name, cheap grippy handlebar tape from his Belgian mechanic Frankie that we saw on his 2012 machine. In the icy, wet conditions on Sunday at Nationals, that grip may have come in handy.

See the full specs and our abbreviated photo gallery below. View more pro cyclocross bike profiles in our bike profiles section in our Cyclocross Tech section. Want to learn more about Blue or other cyclocross brands? See our Cyclocross Bike Directory.

Jonathan Page’s 2013 National Championship-Winning Cyclocross Bike Specs:

Frame: Stickered-over Blue Norcross SL carbon cyclocross frame with Aerus Composites 30T  high-modulus carbon tubing, BB30 bottom bracket shell. Size Medium.
Fork: Aerus Composites C4CX Carbon Cross Fork, 1-1/8″ to 1-1/2″ tapered steerer, carbon dropouts
Headset: FSA Orbit C40-CX
Handlebars: PRO Vibe 7s, 7050 aluminum
Stem: PRO PLT, 2014 aluminum
Brakes: Shimano CX70 cantilever brakes
Wheelset: Shimano Dura-Ace C35 35mm carbon tubular wheelset, 1339g
Tires: Challenge Limus 33mm tubular tires, Team Edition, cotton casing
Shifters: Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 10-speed STI Levers
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 10-speed
Front Derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 10-speed
Crankset: Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 10-speed, 46t Dura-Ace chainring, 39t inner chainring
Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 10-speed, 12-27
Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace 7901 10-speed
Pedals: Shimano M540 SPD pedals
Seatpost: PRO Vibe 7s 7075 aluminum post, 280mm.
Saddle: PRO Condor, titanium rails.

Jonathan Page’s 2013 Cyclocross National Championship Bike Photo Gallery:

 

 

Cyclocross Magazine, Issue 22, Print and digital subscriptionsHave you subscribed yet? You're missing out if not. Get all-original content and your cyclocross fix throughout the year with a subscription and Issue 23 back copy, with features on Lars van der Haar, Jonathan Page, Elle Anderson and more!
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8 comments
anontrex
anontrex

this is BS. Blue sponsored him through the bad years where he was plagued with injury and sickness....or just plain was mediocre, plus this frame bares his name. this is a slap in the face to all the working class racers who PAY RETAIL for their bikes and dont black out the logos. Jon Page is a man child. he might be fast, but he shows lack of appreciation for cycling and the culture.

jessed
jessed

Noobs and junior racers take note.  Goes to show that you dont need all the latest, greatest high-zoot gear.  Training, determination and heart will get you pretty far.

cyclocross
cyclocross moderator

 @anontrex interesting take. other opinions expressed here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151343731827092&set=a.396470822091.176963.97737527091&type=1  one way to think about it is, if someone sees photos of you on a bike winning nats, they might assume you already have a bike sponsor. if it's clear that you don't, but aren't bad mouthing anyone, they might realize that you're looking for a sponsor and step up, especially if you tend to be one of the more quiet racers. plus photos of you winning nats then don't conflict with a new sponsor coming on board. just another way to look at it. we don't have all the answers. good discussion.  

uhalevi
uhalevi

 @jessed Carbon bike with Dura-Ace and carbon tubulars isn't high zoot?

anontrex
anontrex

 @cyclocross his exact reply on twitter was that he couldnt give blue free advertisement in case he did something awesome... IMO they gave him a namesake frame, and support when he wasnt doing so well so this comes off petty. he isnt on a UCI trade team, he has no obligations. there are reasons he scrambles for support every year, many (companies, teams) have gotten tired of working with him. to those who pay attention to these things, notes have been taken, i assure you.

jessed
jessed

 @uhalevi Not when it's Free... My point is to those new to the sport or juniors is that you don't have to spend a mint to participate.

cyclocross
cyclocross moderator

 @anontrex interesting opinion. we've certainly noticed over the years many athletes scrambling for sponsors as much as Page, including our very best like Compton, Trebon, Butler, and Duke - and with the exception of Johnson now, most "stable" athletes have other racing priorities involving road or mountain. the ones who have trouble seem to be the ones trying to focus on cx. that could just be the nature and stature of our sport, or maybe personalities, priorities as you suggest. we don't have all the answers, and enjoy the discussion. 

cyclocross
cyclocross moderator

 @jessed  @uhalevi don't really understand the "free" comment, and it still is a very expensive bike - out the door that bike isn't cheap at all. the point was though it was different than the typical pro build in that the bar, stem, seatpost, brakes, and pedals aren't the top-of-the-line or lightest carbon options, which is interesting to some, and doesn't matter to others. 

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